What is this rack of things from the film Trading Places (1983)?
August 7, 2022 4:02 PM   Subscribe

I saw this stand/rack in the film Trading Places, noted the colors, and wondered what was on it. Any ideas?
posted by circular to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Rack card display for promotional literature.
posted by Scram at 4:09 PM on August 7, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: They definitely look like train timetables. Oddly, though, the scene was filmed at 123 South Broad Street, which is a bank building in real life. I'm guessing they were there since SEPTA's Walnut-Locust station appears to be accessible from that building via the Center City Pedestrian Concourse.
posted by theory at 7:03 PM on August 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Those remind me of either CSAA (California AAA)'s vending machine for maps (it's free to members) or those motel racks for all those tourist-attractions nearby, but placed higher.
posted by kschang at 12:38 AM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm convincing myself you can actually see one of the old SEPTA logos on the top of that stand. Another vote for the railroad/bus/etc tables; the size is right, too.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:42 AM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yep, those are train timetables.

Might have just been incidental and someone decided to leave it in the shot for background color, or maybe it was intentional and sort of a Chekhov's Gun pointing towards the eventual climactic scene (onboard a departing train) later in the film.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:28 AM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Nthing the timetable and brochure rack answers.

For context...My university had an entire room with racks of bus timetables. Downtown areas had little booths with racks for main routes and various public venues would also have tons of racks. You could also go to booths and talk to people. Train stations, subways and so on would also have tons of racks. Ferries, bus stations, subways, museums, venues and hotel lobbies would also have tons of racks for local attraction brochures.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 11:01 AM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Interesting input here! Thanks everyone.
posted by circular at 3:43 PM on August 8, 2022

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